State v. Stanton

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Supreme Court
  • Area(s) of Law: Criminal Procedure
  • Date Filed: 05-26-2022
  • Case #: S067829
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, J. for the Court; En Banc
  • Full Text Opinion

“In order to accept a defendant’s waiver of counsel, a trial court must determine—and the record must reflect—that the waiver is both intentionally and knowingly made.” State v. Meyrick, 831 P.2d 666, 132 (Or. 1992).

Defendant appealed a conviction on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of first-degree sodomy. During trial, Defendant asked for present counsel to be removed from representation. Trial court gave Defendant one day to find representation, otherwise Defendant would represent themselves. Defendant argued that the trial court erred when it found Defendant impliedly waived the right to counsel through misconduct and the trial court did not issue an advance warning that such behavior would constitute a waiver.  The State did not renew the prosecutor’s original misconduct argument on appeal. Waiving the right to counsel must be intentionally and knowingly made, either through express words or impliedly through behavior, and an advanced warning that further misconduct will result in a waiver must be issued. State v. Meyrick, 831 P2d 666 (1992). On review, the Court reasoned that the three pending motions and the trial court’s ambiguous questions to the Defendant do not constitute an intentional relinquishment of the right to counsel. The Court held that the record is not clear if the outcome of the trial would have been different with representation. The decision of the Court of Appeals is reversed.  The judgment of the circuit court is reversed, and the case is remanded to the circuit court for further proceedings. 

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